February 9, 2011 -- Japan-based Astellas Pharma has purchased the marketing rights to Optimer Pharmaceuticals' new antibiotic fidaxomicin in Europe and certain other countries.* Richard Phelps, healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, provides expert comment:
“Fidaxomicin is in development for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), and in Phase III trials, it was shown to be statistically superior in reducing rates of disease recurrence compared to the current standard-of-care, vancomycin. It is estimated that more than 700,000 cases of CDI occur each year in the US alone, mainly affecting hospitals and long-term care facilities.
“The Astellas deal will enable Optimer to benefit from Astellas's strong capabilities in the anti-infective arena and its established relationships with payers and hospitals in Europe and other territories.
“Datamonitor believes that, combined with the highly promising Phase III data, which show clear benefits over vancomycin, the broadened geographic reach and enhanced sales and marketing capabilities resulting from the deal should notably enhance the commercial prospects for fidaxomicin and reduce the drug's dependence on the US market for sales revenue.
“Datamonitor currently forecasts sales of fidaxomicin to reach $265m across the seven major markets (the US, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK) in 2019.”
*Under the terms of the deal, Optimer will receive an upfront payment of $68m and is also eligible to receive further milestone payments totaling approximately $156m, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on sales of the drug upon regulatory approval. Astellas will be responsible for all costs associated with the development, manufacturing, and marketing of fidaxomicin in the territories covered by the deal.
Richard Phelps is available for comment.
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